The Wall

Garry Knight “With a Backpack by a Wall”

As he walked toward the wall, his shadow, which had loomed large against the wall, grew smaller and smaller, his resolve shrinking in tandem, till he was at the wall, confronting the deed with only his conscience as companion.

The pistol held one bullet. She was on the other side of the wall, waiting for the other man. But the other man would not come; he lay drugged and unconscious on the floor of the bar where he had come to drink secret gloating. Only the gloating was not secret. Having dealt with the other man, the barkeeper turned out the light, put the “Closed” sign in the window and locked the door. Then he drove to the spot where she waited.

He stood at the wall; there was no shadow; the light behind him had gone out. He took out the pistol, released the safety. He stood for a minute. Then, slowly, he walked away and placed the pistol — it was, in fact, her pistol — on the seat of her car.

That will leave a message, he said to himself.

He drove his car to the airport and boarded the flight to Zihuatanejo, where he had already rented an apartment.

(Rev. 2017–01–11)

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